A summary of Policy, Strategic Guidance and Codes of Practice relating to Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum.
This summary provides an overview and could provide useful context when commissioning services or for providers being commissioned to deliver services for children and young people (CYP) on the autism spectrum. Please note that the Autism Act and Strategy focuses on adults only, although reference is made to transitions between child and adult services.
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- Autism Act (2009)– the only ‘condition-specific’ legislation, for adults and not CYP but reference is made to transition from childhood to adulthood
- Autism Strategy for England – ‘Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives’ – delivery plan (April 2010) and Statutory Guidance (Dec 2010)
- ‘Think Autism – building on the 2010 Strategy’ – updated strategy for adults in England which builds on rather than replaces the 2010 guidance, identifies 15 priority challenges for action
- ‘Autism Strategy – Statutory Guidance’ (2015) – section 2 of the Autism Act (replaces 2010 guidance), introduced the annual local Self-Assessment Framework to demonstrate progress being made in implementing the Autism Strategy. Part 3 covers ‘Planning in relation to transitions from school / college to adulthood’
- Mental Health Act – amended the 1983 Act rather than replaced it for England and Wales, aimed to tackle concerns about people with a serious mental disorder living in the community. New definition of ‘any disorder or disability of the mind’, it also excluded people with a learning disability unless ‘abnormally aggressive or showing irresponsible conduct’. Creation of an ‘Approved Mental Health Professional’ (AMHP) and a ‘responsible clinician’ (RC). From 2010 to ensure that CYP under 18 must be treated in ‘ age appropriate settings’. Not autism or CYP specific.
- The Care Act (2014)– strong emphasis on preventing and delaying needs for care and support, promoting the need for stronger integration between social care and healthcare. Not autism specific.
- The Equality Act (2016)– simplifies, strengthen and harmonises the current legislation to provide a new discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment. Not autism specific. However, it includes a section on codes of practice for service providers and users and technical guidance on reasonable adjustments for school / FE / HE providers, providing useful examples of good practice relating to CYP on the autism spectrum.
- Building the Right Support (October 2015)– The National Transformation Plan – Transforming Care Programme – the National Transformation Plan and Transforming Care Partnerships. Mainly adult focus, but identifies the need for a coherent, generic pathway for CYP. Not autism specific. National Service Plan for health and social care commissioners
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (2009) – the Convention has 54 articles in total, 42 are CYP specific. Articles 43 – 54 are about how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights. Annually all 196 member nations review and confirm their commitment to the CRC. Not autism specific. http://www.unicef.org.uk/crc/op
- The Children and Families Act (2014)– generic but highlights new joint (education, health and care) arrangements for assessing, planning and commissioning services for CYP with SEND. Not autism specific
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (2015) – statutory guidance for 0 – 25 year olds, ‘Education, Health and Care Plans’ and the ‘Local Offer’. Not autism specific
- Model Specification for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: Targeted and Specialist levels (tiers 2 / 3) (2015) – to support commissioners of CAMHS services – should build on the JSNA and sit within an agreed strategic plan approved by the local Health and Well-being Board. Not autism specific
- Future in Mind (2015) – national CAMHS taskforce report on CYP mental health. ‘Promoting, protecting and improving our children’s mental health and wellbeing’. Not autism specific but has a section on vulnerable CYP
- Local Transformation Plans for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being (2015) – guidance to support the development of Local Transformation Plans for CCG’s, Health and Well-Being Boards, LA’s, Health Trusts, Commissioners. Not autism specific
- Local Transformation Plans – Baseline Report (2016)– review of 2015 / 16 LTP’s. Not autism specific
- Local Transformation Plans (2016) – summary of key themes (2015 / 16 plans) – section 6.6 focus on CYP with complex needs. Not autism specific
- Delivering The Forward View of NHS Planning Guidance 2016 / 17 to 2020 / 21 (2016) – chapter 2 relates to CYP mental health, but not autism specific. Emphasis on co-production , partnership working, early intervention, person-centred, underpinned by evidence, outcome focused and data driven. Not autism specific
- Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016 / 2017) – all-age plan being finalised from 2016 / 17 to 2020 / 21. Not autism specific
- The Lenehan Review – ‘These are our Children’ (2017) – the purpose of the review was to draw attention to the care, support and treatment provided to ‘CYP with complex needs and behaviour that challenges mental health problems, learning disabilities and / or autism’. Specific reference is made to: Integrated Personalised Commissioning, Transforming care, Transformation programme and generic pathway for CYP, Residential Care Review (Narey), Focus on Commissioning. Eleven recommendations made, with an emphasis on developing coherent multi-disciplinary services. Not autism specific, but very relevant and featured in the report
- Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews – Policy and Guidance (2017) – ‘to improve the care of people with learning disabilities, autism or both in England with the aim of reducing admissions and unnecessarily lengthy stays in hospitals and reducing health inequalities. Focus on inter-agency working, commissioning clear pathways and co-production’. Not autism specific . Click here for easy read version of care treatment